Actress Gwyneth Paltrow joined a group of senators on Capitol Hill to advocate for genetically modified food labeling.
“They [genetically modified organisms] could possibly be harmful. And there are arguments that they could possibly be incredibly beneficial and drought-resistant and have extra nutrition, but at this point we just don’t know — and much the way I want to know if my food is farm-raised or wild or if my orange juice is fresh or from concentrate, I believe I also have the right, we all have the right as Americans, to know what’s in our food,” Paltrow said at a news conference held by the Environmental Working Group and the “Just Label It” initiative.
Paltrow is no stranger to the political process. She has contributed to Democratic candidates in the past and held a fundraiser for the Democratic Party with President Obama at her Hollywood home before the 2014 midterm elections.
“It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass,” she said at the $15,000 per plate fundraiser in October of last year.
Despite this, Paltrow stressed that she came to Washington as an “American mother” who is “not an intensely political person.”
Actress Blythe Danner, Paltrow’s mother, also joined Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at the event.
“I’m very lucky that I was raised by a conscious environmentalist who came with me here today to speak about her passion on the subject,” Paltrow said.
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, passed by the House, would not label genetically modified foods.
Danner said activists should not have to fight for GMO labeling.
“Here we are fighting this that should not have to be fought. The herbicides alone they have to treat these GMOs with are just off the charts, and they are known to be in some cases known carcinogens,” she said. “There’s a lot that hasn’t been proven but we have a lot of indicators to pay attention to.”
Boxer praised Paltrow and Danner for lending their celebrity voices to the cause.
“Our two fabulous stars, mother-daughter, an inspiration, we are so happy you gave yourself to this moment because it’s very easy when you are famous to kind of say ‘it’s not my problem,’ and you are lending your fame to this and it means a great deal to us,” Boxer said.
“So we’re here today with a very simple message: Americans have a right to know what’s in the food they eat. It’s pretty straightforward. You don’t really need a master’s degree or a doctorate. Our people deserve to know what’s in the food they eat,” she added.
Boxer called the House bill “deceptively labeled” legislation.
“It would keep Americans in the dark about what they are eating and that’s why we call it the DARK Act,” she said.